How to Save Energy During the Holidays

 In Staying Warm, System Maintenance, Winter Topics

The holiday season is full of surprises, but your electric bill shouldn’t be one of them. From twinkle lights to holiday baking, you might find that this time of year comes with an increase in electricity use. That means an increase in your electric bill, as well. There are a few things you can do, however, to keep your home running as efficiently as possible. Not only is it better for the environment – it’s better for your wallet. Here are six simple ways to save energy during the holidays.

1. Switch to LED lights.

It might be tempting to dust off the same box of dusty Christmas decorations you’ve been using for a decade, but consider upgrading your twinkle lights. Whether you’re lighting up the tree or your entire roof, LED lights are an energy-efficient option that can save you money in the long run. Some have been shown to use up to 75 percent less electricity than standard lights. They come in every color and style imaginable, so you can save energy during the holidays without sacrificing creativity. You have a neighborhood reputation to uphold, after all.

2. Use smart technology.

There are only so many days in December, so it makes sense that you want to enjoy every minute of your holiday decorations. Leaving lights on 24/7 can be a serious drain on your electric bill, however. Consider using smart outlets to connect your lights and decorations with an in-home smart device. Many can be set on a timer that you can easily control on your phone. This is especially helpful for outdoor lights, as you can leave them on for certain hours of the night. Not into smart devices? Many retailers sell simple Christmas light timers that plug directly into your outlet; no fancy tech required.

3. Bake strategically.

Are you in charge of bringing the turkey, casserole, green beans, brownies and cookies to Christmas dinner? Using your oven strategically is another easy way to save energy during the holidays. Try to time dishes that need to go in the oven at the same time to minimize usage. Prep several trays of sugar cookies at one time so they can go in together, for instance, or borrow an extra baking sheet from a friend. To take it a step further, get creative and think of a few no-bake Christmas treats you can make this season. Who knows – you might end up discovering a new family favorite.

4. Don’t depend on the fireplace.

Chestnuts may be roasting by the open fire, but you shouldn’t count on it to warm your home this holiday season. Despite popular belief, a standard fireplace is not very efficient at warming your home. If you’re using it to save on your heating bill, it might end up having the opposite effect. That’s because the increased temperature in the room with the fireplace actually confuses your thermostat. Some fireplaces are more energy-efficient than others, but as a rule of thumb, they aren’t the best option when it comes to heating.

5. Set the thermostat.

Leaving for holiday vacation? Many people forget to set their thermostats accordingly, but it’s one of the easiest ways to save energy during the holidays. Unless you have pets (and pet-sitters) inside the home while you’re away, you can plan to set your thermostat to around 65 degrees or lower. This is another instance when smart technology comes in handy, as you can use a smart thermostat to adjust the temperature before you arrive back home.

6. Get a home comfort tune-up.

When it comes to saving money on your electric bill this winter, the best thing you can do is plan ahead. Without regular maintenance, your HVAC system begins to lose efficiency over time. Some studies have shown that systems that aren’t maintained can lose as much as 5 percent of their efficiency every year. Investing in maintenance may not seem like the most obvious way to save energy during the holidays, but it’s one of the best things you can do to keep your electric bill lower over time.

If regular HVAC maintenance keeps slipping to the bottom of your to-do list, Barineau Heating and Air Conditioning can help. Our Total Comfort Service Program is designed to make annual maintenance a breeze, so you can focus on more important things. Give us a call today at 850.580.4029 or click here to get started!

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